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Festina Lente'
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I picked up a set of Ortlieb Back Roller Panniers tonight. First of all, these things rock. They are VERY well built, and will be great for my trip.

I also think that they will not make good front panniers, due to their size, however I think my current plan is to modify my Topeak Rack with an additional hangar so that I can clip on the Ortlieb's and add still carry the trunk box. This has led to my newest issue, All the weight in the back... which I am not sure how to fix without picking up a set of Ortlieb Front Runners...

SO to summarize. 2 week long trip. Taking the train from LA to SLO - Spending a week or so bumming around. Train to Santa Cruz... Coopers BBQ and Fire Fiesta for 2 days... Leaving back for SLO on Sunday (actual touring!), maybe some camping, maybe not, I have not yet decided.

I think if I decide to actually camp, front panniers will be necessary, however, if I just stay in hotels, they may not be necessary...

So, anyways... do I need front panniers to even out this weight situation?
 

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Knives, Guns, and Booze
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2,942 Posts
Well, you could raise your seatpost height, and lower your handlebars, and in theory, that will add more weight at the front. Either that, or lug around a 12-pack of beer on the front rack for ballast.
 

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How about nixing the rear rack-top bag, and using a front bag instead? Or is it too late (or out of the budget) for more equipment. There are various options for fairly large front bags, that can mount to your handlebars or a front rack like the Nitto.
 

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Festina Lente'
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11,508 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Screw it. Just ordered the Ortlieb Front Rollers too! 20% off is hard to beat. Crap! Now I gotta build a front rack anyways!

Thanks all
 

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BentChainring said:
Screw it. Just ordered the Ortlieb Front Rollers too!
Yeah! Can`t go wrong with a little Visa card slingin action!

Hey, Tarwheel`s plans sounds pretty good. If you have the big and small Ortleibs to choose from, along with a Nitto style front rack, you can use whichever pannier set best fits the bill for any given trip out back, then use a front bag, or even tie on a gym bag up front. I keep watching for clues as to what kind of front rack you`re planning. Did I miss it, or have you not yet decided/posted that?
 

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Festina Lente'
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11,508 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
rodar y rodar said:
I keep watching for clues as to what kind of front rack you`re planning. Did I miss it, or have you not yet decided/posted that?

I will be building my own front rack.

I cannot justify paying 170 bucks for a NITTO front rack, when I can buy the tools/materials to weld my own for that much. I am torn between using 4130 (CrMo Steel) or 6061. I wish I could easily get 7005 tubing in these small diameters, cause then I could post-weld heat treatin my home oven!!!
 

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Since you already have a TIG machine, you won`t need to buy much. In addition to a welder or torch, all I use is a soft jaw vise, bender, hacksaw, and round file more or less the diameter of my tubing. We have two styles of benders at work- Rigid and Imperial-Eastman. They both work equally well, but I prefer the Eastman just because it`s a little easier to use. Not that I ever have a choice- some sizes we have one make, other sizes the other make. Anyway, I was looking at buying one for myself about a year ago (still haven`t bought one) and it seems that both were about the same price- $70 to $80 new. There are a few of each on eBay right now. Here`s one:
https://cgi.ebay.com/IMPERIAL-EASTM...0|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318|301:1|293:1|294:50


EDIT: I just clamp steel tubing gently in soft jaws. If you use aluminum, you`ll probably need to make a tubing block- a hole drilled in a block of wood or metal, then cut along the length the hole.
 

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Festina Lente'
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11,508 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rodar, thanks for the info. I have used benders like that before, they work very well. I think I am going to pick one up from harbor freight and see how it works. I am not a big fan of Chinese tooling, but whatever gets the job done. And for $5.99 its hard to beat, just to try out.

The only thing that is an "issue" is mounting to the holes. My Topeak solves that by smashing the end of the tubing, and drilling a hole, which I may decide to do (in fact, now that I think about it, that's a super easy way).

Ill post pics as my project developes. Probably wont get around to it till next weekend. Still have to move my TIG over to my place. Argon cylinder in a Mini... SAFETY Third! :rolleyes:
 
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